#Democrats become not so Democratic in #DC
By Markus Batchelor (@MarkusBatchelor)
Something new out of the Democratic party: According to a Washington Post blog released today, the D.C. Democratic State Committee quietly ended a decades-long tradition of having members of the committee selected in a direct election every four years during the party’s primary.
The party informed the DC Board of Elections and Ethics on August 16 that the positions of Committeemen and Committeewomen (both at the ward level and at-large), which are usually selected by the many Democratic voters in a September primary (the primary will be held in April in 2012), will be chosen instead in a convention or caucus conducted by the party organization.
The DC Democratic State Committee, in a statement, explained that an alternative election process had to be chosen in order to be in uniform with party organizations in other states and to follow party rules. However, some members of the Committee say that there really is no conflict with party rules. The D.C. Republican Party, in contrast, will continue to elect the members of it’s committee in their primary next year.
I believe that the move to change the election style of Democratic Committee members in DC is not a necessity, but has effectively shut out hundreds of thousands of Democratic voters in the District of Columbia from being able to have an effect on the direction their party takes in this city. It will most definitely benefit party insiders and the “usual crowd” of pols in the city, who will more than likely be the only group to venture to attend a convention or caucus that probably won’t be heavily publicized by the committee to begin with.
The Democratic Party is supposed to be the party of the people, the party of inclusion and the party seeking transparency and fairness. The D.C. Democratic State Committee, through this decision, has single-handedly flushed all these principles down the toilet simultaneously and I believe it is our duty to call for new leadership and a new way forward for the Democratic party in this city.